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Relapse Prevention Tips: 5 Strategies to Avoid Alcohol Purchases At the Grocery Store

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Home recovery Relapse Prevention Tips: 5 Strategies to Avoid Alcohol Purchases At the Grocery Store

Individuals in early recovery are surrounded by triggers that threaten their abstinence.  Even a trip to the local grocery store can be a significant challenge.  You need some good relapse prevention tips to keep you from giving in to temptation at the liquor aisle.

Although alcohol can be deadly, it is widely sold and advertised without regard to the potential hazards.  It is a high-demand product that generates millions of dollars in profits for manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and advertisers.  Grocery stores are only a minor part of the process, but you can’t avoid them the way you can a liquor store.

How to Avoid Alcohol Purchases In the Grocery Store

If you are in recovery from alcohol addiction, a quick trip to the store for a loaf of bread seems easy enough, until you pass the beer and wine section.  

As part of your recovery program, you were provided a list of relapse prevention tips that will help you stay on track.  But, today, while you are facing the alcohol aisle in your local grocery store, you need some tips that are relevant to your current situation.  You need ideas on how to avoid alcohol purchases while grocery shopping.

In reality, you can’t stay out of grocery stores forever, so how can you manage to pass the liquor aisle without putting something in your cart?  

Preventing alcohol relapse is possible with these real-life practical tips that will help you avoid alcohol purchases at the grocery store:

1. Remember What Alcohol Does to You

In essence, you need to rewind your memory to remind you of the bad things that happen when you drink.  You may be looking at the display of wine and beer thinking you can handle a drink or two.  But, if you’re being realistic, you know just a drink or two is never enough.  Rewind your mental tape to the section where you see yourself passed out on the couch later.  

Giving in to temptation at the grocery store liquor aisle could be one of your most difficult triggers to overcome.  It’s never easy to confront your own reality of alcohol abuse.  But, it is a good way to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished so far and how easily it can all be undone. 

 2. Tell Yourself It’s Too Expensive

Like many people who have recently left rehab, you’re likely to be on a tight budget.  Alcohol is expensive, so use that as a good excuse.  Blame it on your budget.  

Think about all the money you wasted while struggling with alcohol abuse.  Refuse to waste any more of your hard-earned money on something that will eventually ruin your life.  Try to imagine all the other things you could spend the money on that won’t harm your health.

 3. Buy Yourself a Treat Instead

Rather than putting alcohol in your cart, treat yourself to something special.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Choose something you like but don’t normally purchase such as a bag of Oreos or a new flavor of ice cream you haven’t tried.  You’ll be stimulating your reward system without the dangerous side effects of alcohol.  

 4. Take a Sober Friend Shopping With You

If you’re not sure you can navigate the liquor aisle without buying something, you may benefit from having someone shop with you.  Invite a sober friend or family member to accompany you on your shopping trip.  Let your shopping buddy know you need their support.  Ideally, the person you invite knows about the struggle you’ve had with alcohol and will avoid nagging you.

 5. Plan Your Shopping

You’ve probably been to the same grocery store enough times to know how it’s laid out.  Think about the items you need and plan a route through the aisles that will bypass the liquor section.  

Also, try to avoid going grocery shopping if you’re feeling down.  You might be tempted to grab a six-pack of beer or bottle of wine to lift your mood.  

Other Relapse Prevention Tips to Keep in Mind

The hardest part about preventing alcohol relapse is feeling that you can’t continue to resist the never-ending temptations that surround you.  Try to keep these things in mind:

  • You’ve come too far to give in now. 
  • You shouldn’t dread going to the grocery store, even though it presents temptation.  It’s a normal part of daily life that can’t be avoided.  
  • You, not alcohol, are in charge of your life now.  
  • Relapse is a gradual process that begins before you pick up a drink.  

Hopefully, the above tips will help you remain on track for a long-term recovery.

Preventing Alcohol Relapse Begins With Design for Change Recovery

At Design for Change Recovery, we understand the temptations and challenges our clients will face after rehab.  With that in mind, we structure our treatment plans to help clients acquire skills and the confidence to effectively manage triggers.  

Our comprehensive, evidence-based program provides counseling, activities, and classes that focus on relapse prevention strategies.  To further assist our clients, we offer aftercare services to help clients as they integrate back into society.

If you know someone who is struggling with alcohol abuse, contact Design for Change Recovery in Lancaster, CA to learn more about our programs.


Relapse Prevention Tips: 5 Strategies to Avoid Alcohol Purchases At the Grocery Store